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Historic Window Replacement

Historic house in Detroit

When replacing the windows of a historic structure, a 'certificate of appropriateness' will usually be required from the local historic society before a building permit is issued.

If the owner, working with the window manufacturer, can demonstrate that the window replacements will protect the historic integrity of the property, the historic society will review the application, then issue the certificate.

An owner may wish, though, to use windows that are not identical to the structure's original windows (windows different in size or design, or not historically accurate, like vinyl windows instead of wood, or windows painted in a color not prevalent during the structure's time period, etc.).

Historic double hung windowHistoric windowIf the new windows will not be identical to the structure's original windows, then the owner may be required to appear before the historic society board to request authorization of the window replacements before the building permit is issued.   (Often times a window company representative is able to appear before a board on behalf of the owner to get needed approvals.)

Please visit the Detroit Historic Designation FAQ page, or the
Historical Society of Michigan for more information.